This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada. Mental Health affects us ALL. Whether it is dealing with a mental illness or maintaining mental health, it is important to be aware of what mental health is, how to manage your mental health and how to support others who may be dealing with mental illness. This week, I spoke in Winnipeg about how to optimize your mental health. We dove deep into the multifaceted causes of mental illness, how to find help when needed and positive mental health strategies.
I titled my talk “From Surviving to Thriving”. This was an important title for me because it describes the path I have taken in dealing with my mental illness. Early on in my mental health journey, it was all about surviving: Surviving suicide, surviving my mental illness, surviving the weight of the stigma and labels. But as my healing journey progressed, I learned not just to survive, I learned to thrive.
For me, thriving means that I have a much better quality of life, to the point where I now enjoy life versus continually wanting to end it, as I did in the past. It also means that I have had an improvement in my health to the point of rarely needing mood stabilizing medications, given my ability to blend naturopathic and Western medicine. (It is important to note that I am not anti-medication, but I am in favour of minimum dose for maximum benefit. I also feel that addressing the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of health is at least as important as addressing the physical aspect, if not more so.)
Despite my struggles, I wouldn’t change any experience I have had, no matter how painful it has been, because it has shaped me into the person I am today. I want you to know that your journey is sacred, even if you feel there is no hope.
If you want to learn more about how to regain your mental health, please consider purchasing Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine or if you know someone that could benefit from reading the book, please share this post with them.
The ultimate lessons of this book are about how to:
- Learn to love yourself
- Find your inner voice
- Quiet the unhelpful voices of others
- Follow your path
- Live as your heart desires according to rules you define for yourself
If you struggle with mental illness, I suggest reading my book. In the book, I discuss the 10 key areas that need to be addressed to achieve mental wellness. I will guide you on the path to wellness, first by sharing my story and then by describing in detail the steps needed to regain mental health. My hope is that ultimately you will live a balanced life and embrace all that it can offer.